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Report Finds ‘Catalog of Failures’ in U.K. Contaminated Blood Scandal

A “catalog of failures” by government and medical officials in Britain, most of them avoidable errors, led to blood contaminations that killed about 3,000 people and infected more than 30,000 others over two decades, according to a long-awaited report published on Monday.

The report is the product of a six-year inquiry that the British government ordered in 2017 after decades of pressure from victims and their families, and it could pave the way for sizable compensation payments.

The independent report puts a harsh spotlight on Britain’s state-run National Health Service, identifying “systemic, collective and individual failures” by British authorities as they dealt with the infections of tens of thousands of people by tainted blood transfusions or contaminated blood products between the 1970s and the 1990s.

The authorities at the time refused to acknowledge those failings — including the lack of proper screening and testing of blood — by “hiding the truth,” the report said.

“This disaster was no accident,” Brian Langstaff, a former High Court judge who led the inquiry, said at a news conference on Monday. “People put their trust in doctors and the government to keep them safe, and that trust was betrayed.”

He added, “The N.H.S. and successive governments compounded the agony by refusing to accept that wrong had been done.”

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